Why does my OEM Windows XP Service Pack 3 installation (via Boot Camp) stop at the “Starting Windows” stage on my Mac mini?

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QUESTION :

I’ve got a brand new Mac mini. I bought an OEM copy of Windows XP (Service Pack 3) from Amazon to install on it via Boot Camp.

I created a 32 GB Windows partition via Boot Camp, inserted the Windows XP CD as instructed, waited until it mounted on the desktop, and restarted the machine via the button in the Boot Camp window.

The machine restarted, and the Windows installer launched (the DOS-y, mainly blue screen). For a while it said it was copying various files. Then it said it was starting Windows. Then it did nothing for about 10 minutes.

After that the screen went entirely blue. Then a grey bar appeared right at the bottom, then a couple of sets of short horizontal lines in the top left, as if it was very slowly beginning to draw the “Windows Setup” heading. And there it remained, until I gave up after a couple of hours and restarted the machine

Any idea what’s going on? I can’t see where I went wrong, given that there were so few steps to follow. Maybe the fact that it’s an OEM version? I’d have been delighted to buy a full version, but I couldn’t see one available on Amazon. The Mac mini is for my parents, who have no wish to get confused by a version of Windows that isn’t XP.

ANSWER :

I’ve had a go with an OEM Service Pack 2 CD that I had lying around, and that seems to have worked. I guess with OEM CDs and Boot Camp there’s a lot more potential for the whole shebang to be unsupported.

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